Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leila's cutest ugly friend

my favorite jeans got a huge hole in the knee as a result of wearing them as often as possible for the past four years and now crawling around on the floor after Leila. Since my foot gets stuck in the hole every time I try to get into these jeans now, I decided to turn them into cutoffs and hope summer comes early this year, then make a stuffed toy for Leila out of the bottoms!
Step One: Cut off your jeans!

Step Two: cut out the body and appendages from the fabric (two matching pieces of each! I made mine so that the legs are included with the body, so I only had to cut out arm pieces separately.)

Step Three: Decorate! Sadly, I ran out of daylight to take pictures during this step ... but I used felt and buttons to make eyes, ears, a big button tail and also a nosegay for one hand. Before I stuffed and sewed the body together, I reinforced the backs of all the button stitching with craft glue to prevent Leila from pulling the buttons off and sticking them in her mouth. A smarter idea for a seven-month-old would, of course, be to not use buttons.

I don't have pictures of the next steps, but I'll try to explain as best I can.

Step Four: After all the decorating is finished, sew and stuff any appendages (but NOT the body) and sandwich the pieces together in this order: 
back of ugly face up (decoration facing you).
appendages (arms, legs, ears, tentacles, etc.). make sure they are pointing in, for example, if you have arm pieces, lay them so that it looks like your ugly is hugging itself. 
front of ugly face down.

Step Five: Pin around all the edges, especially where there are extra layers of appendages.

Step Six: Stitch around the edge of your ugly leaving a quarter-inch edge and a four-inch hole for turning.

Step Seven: Turn ugly right-side out through the four-inch hole you left. If you pinned the appendages right, they should all stand out in the correct places!

Step Eight: Stuff the ugly and sew up the opening using a slip stitch. I used standard polyfil for the stuffing, but a greener option would be to use clean plastic shopping bags. This would also create the "crinkle" effect that babies are so fascinated with!

Here is my finished ugly toy for Leila. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be - the ears are sort of bearish but it stands up on only two legs, so your guess is as good as mine. She is sleeping now, so we'll have to wait for tomorrow to see if she likes it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1.5 years later

a year-and-a-half ago I started knitting a tank for Taylor. between other projects, my pregnancy-induced knitting hiatus and moving to a new house it never got finished but while packing for Leila's first road trip to Arizona this week I made sure to bring along the UFO and all necessary elements to turn it into an FO! I must have had the gauge way off when I cast on for this because though I intended this tank for two-and-a-half year old Taylor, it is even too big for almost-four year old Taylor! 
The stripes under the bust are made using leftover yarn from the jumper I made when she was just a little thing.

Our trip was my birthday present from Wes and it was wonderful. I always love visiting our Arizona family and it was so so fun introducing everyone to Leila! 

She read books with Diana, cuddled with Renee and laughed when Kristina tickled her. Saturday night Kristina planned a special birthday dinner of chicken fajitas (BBQed by Andy) and dessert out of my new favorite cookbook! The best part was Friday night when Kristina watched Leila so Wes and I could have a date night! Going out to dinner with no bibs or watching the clock to hurry home for bedtime and avoid a meltdown was such a treat!